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Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Whether you are entertaining overnight guests or friends just dropping by, the powder room is the one area all will ask to visit. Have you taken inventory of this part of your home lately? Make your bathroom boutique beautiful by implementing our top points below. 

May can be a crazy month with the chaos of end of school activities, home projects, and travel plans. But we need to hit pause for one day to celebrate the special mom in our life. With hearts of gold and putting others before themselves, we have gathered a list of ideas to help you honor the special lady in your life.

A few years back my husband and I attended a play that was an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. It was a beautifully written, and quite comical, story based on the difficulties families faced in the 1960s with inter-racial marriage. The scene that stood out the most to me was when the son was trying to bring both families together for dinner. In the last line of the last act, he turns to his father and says, “Dad, we need you at the table.” With that, the father joined the others, and the audience was left with the understanding that healing had begun.

Giving a party requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost anywhere from $15-$100. What you spend will be determined by your relationship and the type of event. Is it a formal dinner? A backyard BBQ? Also, when possible, know the likes and dislikes of your hostess. If she is allergic to flowers, you probably will not arrive with a bouquet in hand.

1. Choose the table. Will you use a round that seats four or a rectangle that seats twelve? This decision will determine your centerpiece.

Warmer weather will be arriving soon, and I am seeing more of our four-legged members making an appearance in the dog parks and on walking trails. With pets taking more prominent roles in our lives, I thought it would be good to brush up on basic dog etiquette and ownership responsibilities.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition.

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

  • Writer's picturePatti Hatton

Capture Your Feelings

Scripture tells us to “bring every thought captive” and to dispute thoughts that do not agree with God’s truth. Thoughts that do not agree with God would be our rebellious thoughts. “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT).

How do I know when I am thinking rebellious thoughts? My emotions provide the “tell.” When I feel conflicted, convicted, less than, sad, depressed, or other painful emotions, I use a skill called “go to the balcony” for help to determine if my thoughts are rebellious or some other form of feeling.

When I “go to the balcony” I can look down, capture, and observe my thoughts. As I begin to analyze my thinking, I realize my feelings follow after my thoughts like little baby ducks follow their mother. Self-awareness is the first step to making change. Dr. Phil says we cannot change what we will not acknowledge. And Jesus tells us to “confess (acknowledge) our sins so we may be healed” (parenthesis mine).

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16 NIV).

Some negative thoughts are blatant and easy to label as rebellious or going against God’s truth. Others require skill to recognize. There are patterns of thinking that can be learned to help us identify these thoughts, and we can change patterns of negative thinking when we become aware of them.

The checklist below is commonly used to identify dysfunctional thought patterns that cause internal friction. If you learn these patterns you will be able to identify and dispute certain destructive thoughts when compared to God’s truth.


1. All-or-nothing thinking: You restrict possibilities and options to only two choices: yes or no. It is an all or nothing mentality.

2. Over generalization: You view a single, negative event as a continuing and never- ending pattern of defeat.

3. Negative mental filter: You dwell mostly on the negatives and generally ignore the positives.

4. Discounting the positives: You insist your achievements or positive efforts do not count.

5. Jumping to conclusions: You assume that people are reacting negatively to you without any objective evidence. Or you predict things will turn out badly without any objective evidence.

6. Magnification or minimization: You blow things out of proportion or minimize their importance.

7. Emotional reasoning: You reasoning is based on your feelings. "I feel like a loser, so I must be a loser."

8. "Should-ing” all over yourself: You criticize yourself or other people with “musts,” "shoulds," “oughts,” and “have tos.”

9. Labeling: Instead of saying "I made a mistake," you tell yourself "I'm an idiot" or "I'm a loser."

10. Personalization: You blame yourself almost completely for something you were not entirely responsible.

(Above points adapted from Feeling Good by David D. Burns, MD.)

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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